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Zion School for Colored Children, Charleston, South Carolina

During slavery, planters had tried to keep African Americans from learning to read and write, sometimes even passing laws against educating slaves. After Emancipation, freedpeople displayed a tremendous desire to learn. Some wanted to read the Bible; others wanted the skills to read land titles, figure out wages, and advance themselves in the new world of freedom. This 1866 Harper's Weekly engraving shows one of the many schools organized and run by African Americans. Francis Cardozo, an educational leader who returned South after the Civil War, was the director of the American Missionary Association's Zion school in Charleston, South Carolina, with more than 1,000 pupils. "It is a peculiarity of this school," ran the accompanying caption, "that it is entirely under the superintendence of colored teachers."

Source | Alfred R. Waud, "Zion School for Colored Children, Charleston, South Carolina," wood engraving, Harper's Weekly, 15 December 1866.
Creator | Alfred R. Waud
Item Type | Poster/Print
Cite This document | Alfred R. Waud, “Zion School for Colored Children, Charleston, South Carolina,” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed July 20, 2019, https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/1220.

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